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Shema ~ (2/16/2024)

Shalom All.

Many heavy hearts, many broken promises, but we should never give up Hope, as Long as God rules all His promises are right, true and will give to each his reward.

The Eternal Shema Prayer

In 1946, shortly after the end of World War II, Rabbi Isaac Halevi Herzog, the Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Mandatory Palestine, traveled to Europe in the hopes of finding Jewish children who had survived the war. He visited a large monastery that was known to have sheltered Jewish children from death at the hands of the Nazis. Rabbi Herzog sought to reunite these children with their people.

While the Reverend Mother was willing to give the children back, she was not sure how to identify which of the children among the hundreds in the monastery were, in fact, Jewish. Rabbi Herzog asked her to gather all of the children in a large room. When they were all assembled, he cried out "Hear, O Yisrael! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone" (Deuteronomy 6:4).

Known as the Shma, this fundamental Jewish prayer prompted an emotional reunion as dozens of children recognized the prayer and ran toward him. Though few of the children remembered much of their early lives, the sound of the Shma, the most fundamental prayer in the Jewish faith, instantly brought back memories of reciting these Hebrew words with their parents before bedtime.

Shabbat Shalom

Rabbi Itzhak Levy

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